Sunday, March 30, 2014

20 and 35

Jeff and I started dating in March of 1994. This month marks 20 years of Jeff and Jill.

We met at a birthday party and he offered me a ride home. It was early March and I immediately had a crush. I told no one, but fabricated a reason to invite him to a gathering with friends the following week. My friend Katherine had the house to herself a lot and lived within walking distance of a freeway overpass where we invented something we called "Truckin'" - which meant we hung out on the narrow pedestrian bridge and chanted "Truck Truck TRUCK TRUCK!!" as every big rig truck would approach. Then we would shoot the shit as we waited for the next truck. As I remember it, the overpass was more like a tunnel made of chicken wire and a cement floor. It had a narrow clearance and it always felt as if the truck would run right into us. The adrenaline rush was our version of underage drinking. 

Sadly, when Katherine and I called Jeff's house to invite him over to "Truck" with us, his mother informed me he was in Seattle with another girl. A popular and pretty girl three years my senior. 

But don't worry - you know this story has a happy ending! Just a week or so later - on Saint Patrick's Day to be precise - he dropped a card off at my house. A card he designed himself, and a card I still have in our basement, yellowing in a trunk buried under a box filled with "Edie's Art Projects: Years 1-2". His card said he was sorry he'd missed my call the previous weekend and asked if I might try calling again. We had our first date three days later and two week later, on March 28th, he took me out for a fancy dinner at Il Fiasco to celebrate my 15th birthday.

We were two middle aged souls pretending to be teenagers. People thought we were weirdos, but here we are, 20 years later and still hacking it. I turned 35 on Friday and Jeff bought me my favorite coconut cream pie from the Dahlia Bakery, then took me out for shrimp and grits at a new place in Fremont. Edie stayed overnight at my parents' house. 

35 seems awfully old. But I feel strong and in charge and like things are hard, but overall good. Jeff and I might drive each other batshit crazy some of the time, but there are also other times when he makes me laugh harder than anyone. At 14, I found this tall, handsome nerd that would turn out to be a hard working, loyal, honest man that geeks out about energy saving lightbulbs and business self-help books, but who also does messy art projects and then takes our 4 year old for father-daughter clam chowder dates while I go to a Sunday afternoon party. 

So here's to turning 35 and having spent 20 of those 35 years with the same man. Crazy, but true.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Photos from our weekend on Orcas earlier this month:

Nature walk collections. Edie turned herself into Tinkerbell with branch wings and lichen poofs on her feet. Then she art directed this Tinkerbell made of our treasures:
Sorting her beach treasures:

Hot chocolate with Jeff in town while I picked up some groceries for dinner:

Diggity Dog:

Edie and cousin Caroline

In a basket.

Ps- Edie is going to have another cousin in the Fall. Caroline is going to be a big sister!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Helicopter Crash

I heard about the helicopter crash on my way into a meeting at The Gates Foundation this morning. Since the crash happened less than a block from the Foundation offices and it was only 45 minutes post-accident when I heard the news, I went to my office instead and dialed in to the meeting. I heard about the crash all day in the news.

Unfortunately, I just learned that the survivor who crawled from his burning car after being hit by the helicopter was a friend and colleague who I worked with for 3 years at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  Jeff and I also went to high school with him - he graduated with Jeff. He used to hang out in my office doorway and we'd shoot the breeze about Bellingham… None of this is to make this incident about me at all - I'm just hoping to put some positive energy into the world for his recovery and I hope you'll help me. I feel really sad about it; I know people give lip service to victims all the time, but Richard really is one of the nicest and sweetest guys around. I'm so amazed he was strong enough to get himself out of that car.

So light a candle, say a prayer, or just send some positive thoughts to him, his partner, and his family. I may not be someone who prays, but I definitely believe in the power of love and positive thoughts in the universe.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baby Shower Photos

Belated photos of Heid's woodland themed baby shower are here!!

Some of my photos turned out a little washed out, some are from Darrah's legit camera, and others are filtered through Instagram, so apologies for the mix and match style of photos. Also, I can't get any of them to align in the center, so we're just going straight-up left align. We'll start with the craft station where guests could create iron-on onesies and other adorable things for the baby. Crafty like a FOX:


The panorama was taken before we were totally finished with food, so beverages don't appear on the bookshelf. And for some reason it looks like it was 7pm, but it was two in the afternoon… ah well. You can still get how cute it was, right?!
We covered my giant cork board with wood grain wrapping paper, decorated it with woodland themed banners and baby photos of the couple. My mother in law loaned me her vast collection of pine cones which we dotted around the room. Katherine used a Cricket to print little woodland creatures and my friend loaned us all the terrariums. She had apparently just been to a "terrarium making party" because this is a real thing. Which sounds like I'm making fun, but really I'm just super jealous that I didn't think of it or get invited.

We filled my normally boring work bookcase with children's books featuring woodland or forest animals, used some existing wood frames that amy had to frame some fabric I already had with owls and foxes and then Kristin made little dioramas with moss and things. Oh, and I had the paper lanterns already from another event. The beverages were eventually put on this bookcase, but none of the photos captured it for some reason.

The gift table:
A banner that Katherine made out of slices of real wood, which she then used to paint the baby's name on. Sorry the track lighting in my office made some areas look real important….

The party was at 2pm, so we served turkey and veggie chili with teeny tiny cups and a toppings bar, little paper bags of Fritos, miniature cornbreads with honey butter, fruit salad in waffle cones, and shortbread cookies in the shape of hedgehogs. Oh, and these ridiculously adorable packages of wood silverware, wood print straws, and individual packets of salt and pepper stapled to the outside that Katherine made. I wish this had photographed better because they were CUTE:

And maybe a few little jars of acorn treats made from Hershey kisses, mini Nilla Wafers and peanut butter chips:
PS my friend loaned me all the cool terrariums and Katherine added the teeny tiny forest mushrooms to make them more woodsy.  Amy made the favors - little jars of candied nuts with a little squirrel friend telling everyone to take one with them when they left:
The party:
Opening prezzies:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Spring is the season for new things and so many babies have been born into our circle this last month. Not that this is surprising; we have known for about 9 months that they were coming. But still, babies are always surprising, no matter how expected they are. Will they have hair? What color? Will they be fat or wrinkled little raisins? The biggest surprise of all is just that this crazy thing used to be inside your body and now it's just sitting here, being a person.

First was Jessie - she had her daughter Adeline on February 24th. I can't really express how happy it made me to meet Addie. Jessie's had a long and winding road to motherhood, but the reward is a ridiculously beautiful baby that didn't make a single peep the entire time I met her at 9 days old.

Just a few days later was Jeff's cousin and wife who had their second boy up in Vancouver. His name is Emmet and we hope to have the chance to meet him soon.

And then last week Heidi had her son Henry Forrest. He was a little early but the labor went smoothly and he was clearly going to be a big baby because he was already almost 8 pounds and has a thick head of black hair, despite making his appearance 2 weeks early. Things felt like they were coming full circle when walking the halls of the hospital I delivered Edie to visit Heidi and her tiny family. It was less than 24 hours after she'd delivered, exactly like when Heidi was one of the very first visitors Edie had in the hospital - for all we know in that very same room. The hospital gown with the open tie front, the flannel blanket they wrap your baby in… it was all very familiar.

It's simultaneously difficult and very easy to believe that it's been four and a half years since I had that same experience. Some things come back to me without any effort at all, but some of the details are starting to be a little hazy. I visited Heidi at her house a few days after they'd been discharged from the hospital and at one point offered to change Henry's diaper. It's been over 2 years since I've changed Edie's diaper. I can't even remember the last time I had to wipe her butt! But at the same time, I have a physical memory of holding Edie's tiny little ankles together to pull her rump up off the changing table while wiping her clean; keeping my hand tight around her ankles to prevent her from sticking her feet in the dirty diaper. Tricks of the trade that your brain never really releases I guess.

When I left Heidi and Paul's they asked me if it made me want another. And I had to answer honestly - it didn't. I couldn't be happier for all my friends with their adorable babies. But tiny babies no longer hold the power they did for me before Edie. I remember holding a coworker's newborn once when she brought her into the office. It was about a year before I would be pregnant, but that little peanut made my ovaries ACHE. I wanted to be a part of the club so bad. There was no question that I wanted to be a Mom. Even now, when my kid parades around wearing weird, mismatchy, ill fitting clothes that are not even a little bit cute, with snarly hair and peanut butter smeared cheeks - I still feel like I'm the leader of a parade when we go out together. Like people should really stop what they are doing and wave and admire this amazing, hilarious and adorable creature I made. Am still making.

But I don't feel the need to do it twice.

I thought for sure by Edie's 3rd birthday my interest in having another baby would be rekindled. But it wasn't. And each passing month lessens the appeal. I feel a little bad because my Mom totally deserves like 10 grand babies. But that's not a reason to have another baby. Sorry Mom! My family feels complete, Edie doesn't want a sibling, in fact she pretty much thinks little brothers and sisters are the worst, and Jeff and I really like our lives right now. I've toiled over this instinct to be "one and done" for years, but this is the year I decided to make peace. I'm turning 35 in two weeks and I decided in the Fall that this is the year I treat my body with the respect it deserves by getting in shape and this is also the year I stop second guessing my decision to not have any more children. Stop saying "well, maybe if we have another…" just because I think it makes other people less uncomfortable with the concept of an only child, and start giving people more credit. Because I think most of us can agree - we really got 2 for the price of 1 with Edie.

The other day we were talking about former Presidents of the United States. She's been learning about Abraham Lincoln in school and we were talking about all the presidents that have their faces on coins and dollar bills. She thought for a minute and then asked in an offended tone, "How come all the Presidents are BOYS?!"

Watch out.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Back for the first time since August.